Wednesday 30 December 1663

Up betimes and by coach to my Lord Sandwich, who I met going out, and he did aske me how his cozen, my wife; did, the first time he hath done so since his being offended, and, in my conscience, he would be glad to be free with me again, but he knows not how to begin. So he went out, and I through the garden to Mr. Coventry, where I saw Mr. Ch. Pett bringing him a modell, and indeed it is a pretty one, for a New Year’s gift; but I think the work not better done than mine.

With him by coach to London, with good and friendly discourse of business and against Sir W. Batten and his foul dealings. So leaving him at the Guiny House I to the Coffee House, whither came Mr. Grant and Sir W. Petty, with whom I talked, and so did many, almost all the house there, about his new vessel, wherein he did give me such satisfaction in every point that I am almost confident she will prove an admirable invention.

So home to dinner, and after being upon the ’Change awhile I dined with my wife, who took physique to-day, and so to my office, and there all the afternoon till late at night about office business, and so to supper and to bed.

9 Annotations

First Reading

Bradford  •  Link

"he would be glad to be free with me again, but he knows not how to begin."

For other people are always eager to do what we wish they would do. Aren't they?

Glyn  •  Link

Is Montagu being solicitous about Elizabeth's health because he wants to get back to more comfortable relations with Sam, or because he's genuinely interested in his pretty female relative whom he saw a lot of last summer?

A. De Araujo  •  Link

"he would glad to be free with me again"
Well Sam,it is like when you tell someone he has bad breath,you might have had good intentions but the relationship will never be the same; no status quo ante.

Martin  •  Link my conscience ...
meaning, "my personal feeling is"; nothing to do with right and wrong.

Robert Gertz  •  Link

Is this the first time Sandwich has mentioned either Pepys as a relative? Usually the relationship of Sam and Ed has been strictly in tones of master and well-liked,even respected and favored, servant.

Betty from Chelsea's nice but Betty from Seething Lane is...convenient.

Wonder if Sam is telling us all here? Could it be he's taken a cautious step or two?

"Thanke my gracious Lord." Deep, reverential bow. "My wife is much better. 'Tis most kind of your gracious Lordship to inquire."

"Yes....Your Mr. Hollier was telling my Lady Jemina the other day of her illness. An evil below?"

"Indeed, my Lord. Tho' the cause as yet be unknown, she's suffered greatly. Of course it may well be a matter calling for me to keep from her a time, considering the extent of her condition."

"You don't say...? Surely my cousin Elisabeth has done nothing... Untoward?"

"Not at all, my Lord...I hope I give no hint of any suspicion of my poor wife. Still, Mr. Hollier must have told you of the foul matter seething so hideously within her ..."

"Uh, yes. He did go, mention something about that. Pity for you, Pepys. But he did say he was sure it was not the pox."

"Heaven forfend, my Lord. However... Such seething, fiery, awful matter might well be best avoided lest it prove dangerous. I myself take care with her but as Hollier says, I am either immune or already well infected. Indeed our lack of offspring may well be explained by this sad and evil condition. I may well have been stricken without pain as yet."

"Uh...Stricken, eh?"

"Always a possibility, my gracious Lord."

Hmmn, well...Scratch Seething Lane off my list of potential Chelsea replacements.

Second Reading

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

William Coventry MP, Secretary to James, Duke of York, had many reasons to go to "Guiny House" where he probably had an office:

In December 1660 a committee of six men, Philip Herbert, 5th Earl of Pembroke, 2nd Earl of Montgomery; William, Baron Craven of Hampstead Marshall; Sir George Carteret; William Coventry; Sir Ellis Leighton and Cornelius Vermuyden, was named to have charge of The Company of the Royal Adventurers into Africa's affairs. No mention was made of the office of governor or of any court of directors. Apparently it was thought that the committee of six could direct all of the company's affairs. PLUS it was William Coventry MP who was on the first delegation to Charles II for recovering money collected for the redemption of English slaves in Africa, a lifelong interest of his, and his brother, Henry Coventry MP, who served on the second delegation.

No doubt Coventry knew all about Capt. Robert Holmes' commission to make trouble for the Dutch, and more. And all Pepys could talk about was how bad Sir William Batten was?

San Diego Sarah  •  Link

"I through the garden to Mr. Coventry, where I saw Mr. Ch. Pett bringing him a modell, and indeed it is a pretty one, for a New Year’s gift;"

Christmas "boxes" (usually of money) were given to your servants and vendors the day after Christmas; gift giving to your superiors and friends usually happened at New Years. Christopher Pett was in the yacht and boat building business, so being friendly with Lord High Admiral James' secretary is a good idea.

Pepys comes empty-handed.

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